Dominant Sarah Lee underlines Tokyo 2020 credentials with another sprint title in Canada
- Hong Kong racer secures her second straight World Cup triumph
After snatching a gold medal in the women’s sprint at the track season’s opening campaign in Paris last week, the 31-year-old rider again stood atop the podium with a second consecutive victory in the Olympic discipline.
Previously, Lee, the 2012 London Games bronze medallist in the keirin, only won once in the World Cup series in Cali in 2012 but defying her age, Lee has now claimed two gold medals in a row towards the 2020 Olympic campaign.
The Hong Kong rider was not as impressive as Paris in the sprint qualifying when she managed only a fifth place in the 200-metre flying lap in a time of 10.746 seconds. But again she progressed to the gold medal match after beating major rival Stephanie Morton of Australia in the semi-finals. The Australian sprinter again topped the qualifying in 10.514 seconds but Lee proved too strong for her with two straight wins in the best-of-three tie.
In the final, Lee faced the challenge of up-and-coming German rider Emma Hinze, a former world junior champion in the team sprint and one of the possible replacements of fellow German Kristina Vogel, the multi-Olympic gold medal winner who suffered a major crash in June during training that forced her to retire forever.
But Lee was still the best in the one-on-one, three-lap race final as she won both in the best-of-three tie. She claimed the first race by a small margin 0.091 second with an easier second race in 0.138 second.
The Hong Kong rider will have a chance to capture her second gold in Milton with keirin in the last day of schedule.